New Hope for Arthritic Pets


We’ve been promising to do this for ages and now it’s finally here: our first e-newsletter. Our goal is to help keep you up-to-date on some of the amazing advances being made in veterinary medicine—and how those changes might help your special needs dog or cat live a better life.

In this first issue, we focus on arthritis because it’s such a common disease in dogs and cats, particularly in our older pets, and there are many new and exciting treatment options available.

If you’re a current Scout’s House client, be sure to read about our new Referral Program so that you can score a free rehab session for your pet.

And meet our Director of Rehab Therapy Krista Niebaum, who’s “In The Spotlight” this issue. Once you read about her credentials, you’ll understand why she’s considered one of the top rehab therapists in the country.

As always, we’re here to help—and heal!



New Hope for Arthritic Pets

As dogs and cats age, they become more likely to develop osteoarthritis, or OA. A progressive degenerative joint condition, OA—or, for simplicity’s sake, arthritis—can cause stiff and painful joints, decreased range of motion, limited activity, muscle atrophy, and a diminished quality of life for your pet. For years, veterinarians have treated arthritis with medication, lifestyle changes, and surgery. But today there are some exciting new treatment options available:

1005_feature01A study published in the March 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association reports that omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the dose of carprofen (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories marketed as Rimadyl® and Novox®) needed for pain relief in dogs with chronic osteoarthritis. And research showed that dogs whose diets were supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids showed significant improvement in their ability to get up and move around after 12 weeks of supplementation over dogs who did not receive the fish oil. Because other studies have found omega-3 supplements can have high levels of toxic PCBs, we offer only Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet at Scout’s House, a product we’re confident is among the purest fish oil supplements available today. Shop now >>

At Scout’s House, we’ve treated many hundreds of pets with arthritis, most of them older dogs or dogs who’ve had surgery sometime in their lives (can you say “TPLO”?). Not only can rehab therapy help reduce the severity of your pet’s arthritis pain, but it can also reduce his or her reliance on pain medications.

Using a variety of modalities, including hydrotherapy, low-level laser therapy, e-stim, acupuncture, and PEMF, rehab therapy can improve the range of motion in a dog’s (or cat’s!) affected joints, increase muscle strength and endurance, and decrease the pain of arthritis. If you think rehab therapy can help your pet, call Scout’s House at (650) 328-1430 for an appointment, or click here to find a rehab therapy center near you.

An exciting new option for arthritic pets is stem cell therapy, which has proven to be especially effective in helping alleviate the pain of arthritis in dogs. Using your pet’s own fat (taken from an area behind your pet’s shoulder blades, chest wall, or abdomen), companies such as Vet-Stem separate the adult stem cells from the fat and then return the cells to your veterinarian, who injects them into the arthritic area(s). In one owner survey, the therapy was shown to improve the quality of life for more than 75% of dogs, including those with arthritis in the hips and in the elbows.

Finally, if your dog or cat has decreased mobility or functionality due to the pain of arthritis, consider getting a ramp or steps for getting into cars or up onto beds or sofas, and a harness with a handle (we recommend the Ruff Wear WebMaster harness) to make it easier to move her from place to place.

If your dog or cat is slow to get up, walks stiffly, or exhibits symptoms of pain, talk to your vet today. As you can see, there are many ways you can help your pet cope with osteoarthritis and live a more comfortable and more functional life.


Good for You

1005_feature03Announcing our new Referral Program for Scout’s House rehab clients. Just refer a friend to Scout’s House for rehab therapy for her/his pet and your pet’s next rehab session is free. That’s right: free—as in doesn’t cost you a cent!

Just tell your friends to give us your name when they come in for their initial exam and your pet’s next rehab session is on us. With gratitude!


In the Spotlight

1005_feature04Krista Niebaum, MPT, CCRT
Director of Rehabilitation Therapy

When we started Scout’s House five years ago, we knew we needed someone with a unique educational and prof- essional background to head up our rehab therapy program. And that’s exactly what we got when we met Krista. A licensed physical therapist for humans, Krista had significant experience treating human patients with spinal cord injuries and other neurological dysfunctions, as well as in geriatric medicine and orthotics/prosthetics—all of which gives her an especially solid background in treating many of the dogs and cats we see.

“While I always enjoyed working with my human patients,” Krista says, “there’s nothing more rewarding than receiving a tail wag, a happy bark, or a contented purr at the end of a treatment session.”

Krista is a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist, having completed the Canine Rehabilitation Therapy certification program at the Canine Rehabilitation Institute (CRI) in Florida in early 2006. And she’s also on the faculty of CRI, teaching veterinarians, physical therapists, and registered veterinary technicians how to perform rehab therapy in their own clinics.

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